Nellie Miller from Cottonwood, California is a professional barrel racer and her number one horse is called Sister. In addition to being a professional barrel racer Nellie is also a wife to James Miller and mother to two daughters Payton (7) and Hadley (4). She is a 4 time WNFR qualifier and 2017 World Champion. This year, the first time in her career, Nellie entered the 2019 WNFR as Top Barrel Racer. She earned $154,611 in 2019 bringing her total career earnings is a whopping $876,021!
WesternWomen.com sat down with Nellie to ask her a couple of questions.
How would you define your style?
Nellie: If I were to define my style with one word it would be “simple.” In my day to day life I am usually outdoors riding horses and getting dirty so I try to dress as simple and comfortable as possible so that my outfits don’t get in the way of me doing the things that need to be done and hopefully I still look presentable at the end of the day.
What’s your favorite competition venue to compete at?
Nellie: I love so many different rodeos for different reasons but the electricity at the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas is unbeatable. The crowd feels like they are on top of you and it is so exciting to be a part of the biggest rodeo in the world.
How did you first get into the Western Lifestyle?
Nellie: I have been in the western lifestyle ever since I can remember. My family has always had horses and my dad and brother and husband all rope and ride so it came pretty naturally for me. We have always been a rodeo family and I hope that my daughters will carry one the tradition because it is a great way to grow up.
What advice or words of encouragement would you give to other Western Women?
Nellie: Don’t be afraid to do hard things! Sometimes we don’t challenge ourselves enough because we are afraid of failing. I like to encourage people to do those things that might scare them a little bit because that is where the growth happens.
What is your favorite part about the Western Lifestyle?
Nellie: Tradition is huge in the western lifestyle and I think that today it is becoming more and more important to hang on to those traditions and values that the western way of life promotes.
What do you count as your greatest achievement?
Nellie: My family and children would definitely count as my biggest achievement. I love all of the relationships that our family has together and they are irreplaceable to me.
What do you do to unwind?
Nellie: We are usually on the go a lot and so when I get a chance to be home it is a real treat. I love being home to just be able to relax in my own house, cook real food, and sit in a real chair instead of in a living quarters trailer.
Nellie: I love food! Whenever I get a chance to eat fresh seafood I take advantage of that. I love eating at restaurants where you can see the ocean
What do you never travel without?
Nellie: I never leave my horse behind! It is a goal of mine to actually go on a vacation without the horse in tow!